ORCHARD KNOLLS HOMEOWNER’S ASSOCIATION (OK-HOA)

WWW.ORCHARDKNOLLS.ORG

BOARD MEETING MINUTES

AUGUST 12, 2002

BOARD MEMBERS (BOD) PRESENT:

PRESIDENT Richard Schinner 301-977-5196 evantage@aol.com

SECRETARY Jerry Way 301-977-0523 jerswing@aol.com

AT-LARGE Mohammed Homaitabar 301-318-8446 homaitabar@yahoo.com

TREASURER Ali Rad 301-721-9569 arad@radtc.com

VP TOWNHOMES Eileen Solomon 301-330-2876 zeppsol@aol.com

President is also Acting VP, Detached Homes

ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW COMMITTEE (ARC) PRESENT:

Kathy Wyatt, Paul Andrew Hughes, Milt Martin

GUESTS:

Owners: Rita Becker, Conrad Persels

  1. CALL TO ORDER Meeting held in Eileen’s home, called to order 7:30 Pm
  2. GUEST PRESENTATIONS: President invited guests to speak first.

DOG WASTE SIGN; Guest Conrad Persels expressed disfavor for sign in his cul-de-sac. 1) No need for a sign in his neighborhood. Agreed he had not polled his neighbors. 2) Wants sign placed other than in front of his home. 3) Sign may be hazard to running children.

Board explained that signs were designed to blend into natural environment and that other cul-de-sac locations had reported pleasing results. Board noted that Conrad’s cul-de-sac was about to receive a large flowering shade tree that would help blend the sign into its landscape. Conrad agreed to conduct a neighborhood poll and report result to the board. In response to a further question from Conrad, board agreed that re-location adjustments could be made to that sign in the future.

TOT LOT EQUIPMENT; Guest Persels wants to encourage board to replace all equipment. Objective would be to bring tot-lot equipment on par with higher values and aesthetics of Orchard Knolls.

Board explained: In 2001, a local playground contractor estimated between $20,000-30,000 to replace all equipment at Orchard Knolls. Playground law in Montgomery County is now very restrictive. A licensed county playground contractor, inspected two years ago originally installed our equipment. Our equipment was grandfathered until declared unsafe. Last annual meeting, board authorized budget to remove broken equipment, repair and paint equipment. Several volunteer homeowners and two contractors are currently doing that. Last spring, we deinstalled major pieces of poorly operating equipment and transported them to the dump. This week, the large merry-go-round was replaced. Parts to repair the large swing have been received and would be installed within a week.

Conrad further explained that the large wood climber had a long bolt exposed and was missing a crosstie. Board agreed to have our contractor inspect and repair those items. Discussions then touched on whether our 11-year-old pressure treated wood was safe from toxins. The board does not know the answer at this time. Board decided to defer subject to annual meeting.

III. APPROVAL OF MINUTES - Hard copy of minutes was made available to guests. Minutes are posted on web-site at least one week ahead of board meeting. President called for changes or amendments. There were none. Motion to accept. Seconded. Carried. No objections or comments.

IV. OLD BUSINESS

BLACKBERRY TERRACE STORM DAMAGED TREES – Still not installed, our tree contractor explained that he provides material and labor warranty; stated he would prefer to wait until cooler weather to install. Board allowed another 30 days.

OTHER DEAD REPLACEMENT TREES – Same as above.

BEHAVIOR/RELATIONSHIP PROBLEMS; 12011 CHERRY BLOSSOM PLACE - Neighbors report alleged criminal activity has again been reported to police. November 4, 2001- Case Number: R01273722. May 2, 2002 - Combined Cases Number: 02-103240. President will expedite complaints letter to our attorney.

TOT-LOTS – See Guest Discussions. Rick notes center protective cap on new Merry Go Round is missing. Kathy will contact installer. Board agreed to continue ongoing painting. Board deferred guest query (larger project to replace all equipment) to Annual Meeting.

DOG WASTE SIGNS See Guest Discussion. New signs are now installed in 2 of 3 tot-lots, 4 strategic locations around Cherry Blossom Lane, 5 Cul-de-sac(s) and one near west creek area. One to be installed in Southeast Tot-Lot by our contractor next week. Two remain to be installed as needed in near future.

RT 28 CONSTRUCTION/JUGHANDLE – Board desires to implement underground change orders to front entrance work when SHA begins Blackberry Drive demolition: 1) Relocate current Blackberry Drive corner streetlight to our center island. 2) Install 2 underground conduits to provide future access to our west side sprinkler controls. Rick will contact SHA.

POTOMAC GARDEN CENTER SCREENING AND NOISE AGREEMENT - Final agreement came back from PGC attorneys with items eliminated - again delaying the screening effort. Mohammed reported that PGC reduced the scope of work in a further challenge to whether Orchard Knolls would push for County Appeal Board intervention. Motion made, seconded, and carried without objection to authorize Mohammed to execute the existing agreement within one week, so that some screening work would be done.

POTOMAC GARDEN CENTER FIRE - Report received from Montgomery County indicating fire was a pickup-flatbed water carrier truck. Engine caught fire and spread to the bed and an adjacent wood fence between PGC and Orchard Knolls property. Damage was $30,000 truck and $5,000 fence. Report filed under Fire Department (wrong address).

SPRING TOWNHOMES WALK-THROUGH INSPECTION LETTERS – Several letters were received this month in response to HOA letters sent for specific problems. Some letters were complimentary, others had questions. Secretary will respond to each individually this month.

NEWSLETTER – President wishes to expedite newsletter. Board deferred another month. Speed Limit, Townhome Post Lights, and Japanese Beetles will be addressed.

SPEED SIGNS - County may be "quite a while" before installing the promised 25MPH speed limit sign on Blackberry Drive. Board decided to purchase and install 4 additional 25MPH signs, also 2 Children-Playing signs for Blackberry Drive – allowing county to install when they are ready. Our signs will go up this month.

 

BLACKBERRY EAST SIDE CREEK AREA ILLUMINATION – Contractor proposal was received. Scope involves installing in two phases. First phase is to install a metered power source from Cherry Blossom Place to creek area. Phase 1 also installs three 12 foot fiberglass street lights beginning behind 15701 Cherry Blossom Lane near Blackberry Drive, with others along walk path the curve ending near 12014 Cherry Blossom Place. Streetlight fixtures and poles would match existing community streetlights. Optional second phase would expand first phase by four additional streetlights beginning behind 12014 Cherry Blossom Place continuing along the path with one installed across the second bridge behind detached homes on Pineapple Grove Drive. Lighting intervals would be random, Dawn to Dusk. Total cost quoted is $11,720. Much discussion ensued as to whether additional lighting would deter vandalism or actually attract after-dark loiterers to the areas. Board deferred the subject to annual meeting.

POISON IVY & TRASH BETWEEN NON-GARAGED TOWNHOMES AND PROPOSED ASSISTED LIVING CENTER – Rita Becker requested this item be addressed. President will ask Facilities Services to work on this as additional billable work.

HOA SIDING STANDARDS MAILED TO ALL OWNERS - Architectural Review Committee and Board of Directors developed a one-page informative summary of Orchard Knolls siding standards. ABS mailed it to all owners July 16. The mailout separated our siding standards into: Single Family Homes, Garaged Town Homes, and Non-Garaged Townhomes.

12014 CHERRY BLOSSOM PLACE DISPUTE AGREEMENT– Board received final agreement executed by our attorney and all parties. Agreement applies to current and future owners. It will be filed in address folder.

ASSISTED LIVING CENTER (KOCH PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT) - Early in the month, Eileen prepared a draft letter to Mr. Koch expressing our desire to protect trees along the boundaries of the two properties. Before the letter could be delivered, new owner Mr. Koch discussed development plans with President Rick Schinner. Mr. Koch provided engineering drawings of his proposed development, including requests of Orchard Knolls. Joint concerns are:

Development is requesting permission to enter Orchard Knolls for construction along boundary. Development is requesting permission to link with an underground WSSC water main on Orchard Knolls property at end of Cherry Blossom Court. Board wishes to first ascertain that there will be no loss of water pressure to any of our homes. HOA board’s concerns are: Jughandle traffic flow at his entrance, protection of large shade trees along his western boundary, additional berm buildup along his western boundary for our townhome neighbors, cleanup and restoration of construction damages, and nighttime lighting levels. Joint Possibility of extending Cherry Blossom Court (street) into new development providing an alternate outlet to both developments

Mutually decided that Mr. Koch will outline his requests to his attorney. Our attorney will coordinate our concerns with Mr. Koch’s attorney so that one written agreement can be developed.

LACK OF MAINTENANCE - 15715 Cherry Blossom Lane– Certified Letter Sent: Owner has until September 12 to correct violations. After that, board will contract to have the work done.

NUISANCE VEHICLES - Cherry Blossom Place: In response to a complaint from ARC Chair, Secretary sent certified letters to each of four owners and notified Montgomery County Police Abandoned Vehicles Unit of those with expired tags. Certified letters notified owners of our intent to tow. In addition, our attorney advised us to comply with Montgomery County 48-hour towing notification law, including a posting-on-vehicle requirement. That was done. By board meeting, two of four were gone. One had changed plates to another expired plate. The fourth had corrected all violations.

"RED" DECK - 15718 Cherry Blossom Lane– Certified Letter Sent: Owner corrected.

LEGAL ASSESSMENT COLLECTIONS - ## Cherry Blossom ___ is now 3 quarters delinquent. Board authorized ABS to begin legal collection process. (See last month minutes)

  1. NEW BUSINESS

FLAGS REPLACED - The two small front entrance US flags damaged during July storms were replaced.

JOHNSON PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT - Received copy of development plans for new homes between Safeway and Riffleford Road. (LSA Project 528-30). Plans reviewed with board. No comments.

TOT-LOT BRIDGE WASHED 30 FEET DOWNSTREAM - Pedestrian crossing bridge between the two tot-lots washed out mid July. Water at the bridge rose eight feet and overflowed into upper tot-lot. Last spring, Unity Landscape Services (also our sprinkler contractor) warned us that the east side creek bank needed erosion control. TML Construction was hired this month to use a tractor to return the bridge and install 3 caissons to secure corners. The north east corner could not be secured because of erosion of the bank. Board agreed to obtain a proposal from Unity in October to provide erosion control. Ali reminded to initiate insurance claim for bridge washout.

HOA ATTORNEY WORKLOAD - Attorney is currently addressing the following: Potomac Garden Center, Satellite Dish Rule 3, Maintenance Rule, Code of Conduct Rules, SHA, 12011 CBPL Behavior Problems, Assisted Living Center, ARC Chairperson, HOA Control of Private Property Landscape, ARC Guideline Issues. Some board members feel attorney turnaround time does not meet timing needs of key issues. Some desire a more aggressive attorney. Secretary agreed to contact Dave to identify the problem, ask how we can help him help us, and ask if he wishes we interview other attorneys.

HOA "CODE OF CONDUCT" - Attorney has not responded to issue several months old regarding development of some behavior rules and enforcement recommendations for vandalism etc. Attorney agreed to research the effort because he had been involved in something similar at another HOA. Apparently, the package would contain some enforcement and fines.

ARC CHAIR APPARENTLY OUT OF STEP WITH ARTICLE VIII, UNWARRANTED ACCUSATIONS - Attorney has not responded to our request two months ago on how to handle this critical matter.

BEHAVIOR AND RELATIONSHIP PROBLEMS; 12011 CHERRY BLOSSOM PLACE - Attorney has still not responded on this matter. President will expedite neighbor’s complaints letter to attorney.

TREASURER’S FINANCIAL APPROVALS - Treasurer Ali Rad read following statement to all present, requesting that it be inserted into minutes for the record: " Treasurer does not authorize payments for expenses or issue payments or checks in any form. Orchard Knolls Invoices require 2 signatures before payment. Payments are only made by our bookkeeper Associated Bookkeeping Services. Associated Bookkeeping Services only approve payments from President or Treasurer. Both President and Treasurer have signature cards on file at ABS."

RELOCATE CHERRY BLOSSOM PLACE SIGNS - Incoming vehicles can not see the street identification sign on the west curb. Rita Becker reports that owners, visitors and recent Montgomery County Rescue vehicles have complained. It should be moved to opposite curb. They requested that the parking restriction sign also be moved to the opposite curb. Secretary will make arrangements.

WILD CATS POPULATION - Cat consultant reports that due to influx of fox(s), cat population in creek area has diminished to only a few.

JAPANESE BEETLES - Orchard Knolls Cherry Trees are being devastated by Japanese Beetles. Rick will contact Facilities Services to purchase and install traps in key areas.

HOA STATIONARY/ENVELOPES RECEIVED - Split equally between president and secretary.

FINANCIAL STATEMENT THROUGH JUNE 30, 2002 - Ali distributed ABS financial statement to all BOD members.

AUDITOR’S REPORT - Ali received auditor’s report including tax documents. Ali will review over next month and advise the board of any problems or actions needed.

RENEW ABS AGREEMENT - Board authorized Ali to execute agreement for another year. (See last month minutes).

RESALE PACKAGE UP-TO-DATE - Resale packages distributed by ABS to new owners are current except for minor recent additions and clarifications to our base Architectural Guidelines. See "Base Arc Guidelines Need Addition Of Latest Current Standards" Noted below.

MULTIPLE OWNER ADDRESSES - ABS advises that some owners are requesting that their assessment bill be mailed to a different address from their owner of record. ABS provided the info for our directory. However, this issue may be a board decision, not ABS. Board needs direct access for community legal mailings such as standards changes etc to owner of record. Deferred to next month.

CORPORATE CHARTER ISSUE – ABS agreed the issue has been resolved.

PAINT COLOR/ MAINTENANCE- Rita Becker asked BOD to address 12004 Cherry Blossom Place having non standard gray front door color, and 12001 Cherry Blossom Place with peeling paint. 12013 Citrus Grove has painted shutters blue without ARC approval. Secretary will contact owner.

CURB PICKUP TRASH IN PLASTIC BAGS - Board has received complaints that owners are still leaving trash at curb in plastic bags. Board is having difficulty deciding how to enforce existing covenants that require all owners to use solid trash containers. One possibility is to engage another trash firm that requires the use of solid containers only. Others on the board wish to relax the covenant and allow plastic bags. Deferred to annual meeting.

RENT MONTHLY MEETING LOCATION - Several owners have requested a consistent location be determined for monthly board meetings. President will research cost to regularly rent a room at nearby school.

Secretary advised that school should be rented now for upcoming annual meeting.

VI. ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW COMMITTEE CHANGE REQUESTS - ARC processed the following submissions. ARC Chair will notify owners of action taken:

15618 Blackberry Drive

Siding and Roof

Approved

12013 Cherry Blossom Place

Deck

Approved subject to painting deck rails to standard

6 Citrus Grove Court

Siding

Rejected. Siding does not meet standard

12003 Pineapple Grove Drive

Siding

Rejected. Siding does not meet standard. Clarify color

12009 Blackberry Drive

Siding

Approved

15603 Gooseberry Court

Siding

Approved

15750 Cherry Blossom Lane

Landscape wall

Approved

15746 Cherry Blossom Lane

Temporary use, rope lighting

Approved

15714 Cherry Blossom Lane

Landscape wall

Approved

15714 Cherry Blossom Lane

Storm Door

Approved

12014 Cherry Blossom Place

Fence

Approved

12011 Pineapple Grove Drive

BB Hoop, Stain deck, Door color

Approved

12021 Blackberry Terrace

Double 5 Siding

Rejected. Siding does not meet standard

12009 Pineapple Grove Dr

Double 5 Siding

Rejected. Siding does not meet standard

15630 Blackberry Drive

Siding

Approved

15630 Blackberry Drive

Color Change

ARC error; exceeded 60 days. Color allowed

*12016 Blackberry Terrace

6" Wood grain siding

Rejected. Siding does not meet standard

* ARC request not found, but sample and verbal request made through P. Hughs

 

VII. ISSUES NOT ADDRESSED

REVISED SATELLITE DISH RULE - This ruling, though legally complete, has not been approved by the board.

BASE ARC GUIDELINES NEED ADDITION OF LATEST CURRENT STANDARDS:

Siding Standards - Recently Mailed To All Owners

Townhome Paint Color Standards – Recently Mailed to All Owners.

Garaged Townhome Deck Rails And Step Rails – Conditional Vertical balusters.

Non-Garage Townhomes Decks and Rails – Same as Garaged except Vertical balusters allowed.

Revised Architectural Change Request Form

1999 MAINTENANCE RULE -A legal draft of this previous board’s rule was found, but has not been executed by any board. Perhaps this should be merged into the current "Orchard Knolls Code of Conduct" effort under review by our attorney?

BOD LIABILITY BOND - Is coverage current?

UNPAID DEBT - ##### Cherry Blossom Lane has still not paid HOA for replacement tree.

RELOCATE MARBLE BENCHS UNDER TREES IN TOT-LOT- An owner requested that the board look into possible unsafe condition for children climbing trees in tot-lots. Some marble seating benches are directly under a tree. Other owners feel the bench is appropriately located in the shade of trees and should not be moved. Mohammad cutoff some tree branches above the cited bench this month. A decision needs to be made.

COLONIAL LAMPS FOR TOWNHOME ENTRANCE -Lamps to match front entrance. Project quoted in 2001.

PERMANENT ENTRANCE FLAGPOLES - Project quoted in 2001.

VIII. ANNUAL MEETING:

Open Position – Board of Directors (Resignation of Ken Frank)

Tot-Lot Equipment – Replace all Tot-Lot equipment?

Security lighting project along creek path

Trash: Should trash be allowed at curb in plastic bags?

IX. ADJOURNMENT

Next meeting of the Board of Directors will be Monday, September 9, 7:30 Pm, location to be determined. Call any board member for location. All property owners welcome. Input by letter or email welcome. Due to the late hour, the monthly meeting of BOD of OKHOA was adjourned at 11 Pm.